The Only Truth (Garen/Katarina)

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kittytoast

Senior Member

10-10-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerithRayne View Post
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII like it. Mushiness AND plot. Seriously, you're spoiling me.
XD I hope to keep 'spoiling' then! Thank you so much


Hi everypony! Sorry this chapter was so much slower in coming out than the last! October=school getting busier, as I'm sure many can relate. Thanks again to everyone's encouragement! Seriously, y'all have no idea how happy it makes me to get emails saying I have a new review! When I read them on my phone at school, I can't help but grin like a freaking idiot! Thank you so much

Where the Dust Settles


"Hey, get up."

A soft kick in the shin startled Garen into wakefulness and he opened a bleary eye to see Katarina standing over him. Creases from the pillow and sheets had left pink marks crisscrossing her face and stomach, a sight which elicited a grin from the Demacian.

Her eyes narrowed as if she knew the reason for his smile. "Don't start. You were drooling." Sheepishly, he rubbed his chin and looked around. Light was already streaming through the window and he was surprised it hadn't woken him earlier.

"It's pretty late," she muttered. "Put on some clothes so we can get going."

He stood and as the sheet fell from his upright form, he noticed Katarina attempt a sneaky second-glance. Maybe it was simply wishful thinking but as he pulled on his undershirt, he could almost swear he felt the weight of her eyes on his back; his ego swelled and the commander stretched and finished dressing with an extra spring in his step.

Even hurrying it took Garen the better part of twenty minutes to put on the full Vanguard regalia, in which time Katarina, realizing how long it was going to take, was dozing again by the time he was completely ready. Awkwardly, he shook her leg, saying in a low voice, "I'm ready when you are."

"Finally," the assassin yawned as she sat up, moving to the window as if she intended to climb out.

Before she could, Garen grabbed her arm and pulled her to the door instead. "I think at this point in the day it would be more discreet to leave out the front door," he grinned. "Did you bring a cloak?" She shook her head in the negative.

"Wait a second. I've got an idea," The Demacian stated as he crossed the room to the closet and rummaged through it. He finally found the hooded jacket he wore when in civilian clothes and tossed it to her. "Just put this on and it'll be fine."

She complied and his resolve nearly crumbled at the sight of her wearing his jacket which swallowed her tiny frame. A light blush covered his cheeks as he tore his eyes away, stating shakily, "Let's go."

With the hood covering her face, he opened the door and motioned her to follow closely behind him. Lilia was sure to be gone to her job in the Demacian legislature by this point in the morning, but there was no harm in being careful; if his mother appeared he could probably push Katarina into one of the many rooms in the manor.

Despite his luck during the night, she was indeed gone and, in fact, a note on the door addressed to him indicated that she would be gone to Freljord for the next two weeks and could he kindly not bring prostitutes into the house and ruin their family name while she was gone? His temper flared and he ripped the note in half, tossing it on the floor; apparently of all the ideas she had gathered, she'd gone with the most ridiculous.

He pushed Katarina out the door before she could pick up the note and read it herself and the pair slipped into the back streets.

"So, where are we going anyway?" Garen asked briskly. "Tell me about the code."

"Right, just head for the castle. I'll be honest, Talon figured most of it out. The paper we found in the Ivory Ward was a rubric for decoding something, right? So I figured what we would be decoding was the letter Father left with Cassiopeia since that was the only thing he left us."

Her mouth turned in a frown and she continued, "But between League matches and my duties as a representative it was hard to even find the time. I didn't ask Talon for help until just a month ago, but it turns out he's pretty clever with puzzles.

"It was incredibly complex; Talon said it was encoded twice, and combination of switched words and numbers and I don't even know what else. Whatever, he figured it out." Reaching under the borrowed jacket into her pocket, she pulled out a folded paper and handed it to him. In what Garen assumed was Talon's handwriting, masculine and nearly illegible, was written:

Since the disappearance of the Demacian cargo ship the DSS Excursion I have tracked the seemingly unrelated trends which have followed. I have hidden the bulk of my findings in a secret location within the Demacian prison. The information should be enough to elicit co-operation between Demacia and Noxus to take down the real threat.

-MdC

"A secret room in the Demacian prison?" Garen questioned incredulously. "I've never heard of or seen any secrets in the prison."

She took back the paper with a sigh and stuffed it in the jacket pocket. "I thought so. Maybe Jarvan will know and we could look around and see if we find anything."

Garen contemplated the message in silence as they continued walking toward the castle. He had been in the prison numerous times; it was often part of his job as the commander of the guard. But he couldn't recall ever seeing anything that was out of the ordinary, although he supposed he had never explored it thoroughly. What exactly would they be looking for?

Once again the commander led them through the barracks, pausing once to ask about Jarvan's whereabouts and ignoring all questioning glances directed at the hooded female figure behind him. The prince, he learned, was in a meeting with his father and Garen was presented with a dilemma: should he announce the development in their investigation to both or be guarded? Jarvan, he realized, had not told him whether or not he had kept the King informed.

Opting for discretion, he wrote a note to be delivered to Jarvan that simply stated, "Progress made. We will wait in the study." Let him tell the King what he wanted.

The pair only waited for a moment outside the conference room in which the Demacian royals were meeting before the messenger returned from inside, handing Garen the key to Jarvan's private study. In silence, they paced down the many halls of the castle until they were behind the heavy door of the study, where Katarina locked the door and threw back her hood with a huff.

"I hate coming here, it's nerve-wracking. Good thing no one questions why you're walking around some random hooded figure." She smirked, "Demacians, you're all brainwashed."

Lux's words came to mind. "Not all of us. I'm three-dimensional," he muttered defensively, crossing his arms.

"I don't see you denying the brainwashing," Katarina jabbed.

"Noxus is no better!" he exclaimed. "Demacians may be unapologetically indoctrinated to follow the King and the Measured Tread, but at least they can live their lives in safety. Noxus claims to have laws but it's really just ordered chaos; people kill each other and nobody thinks twice." The commander raised his chin defiantly. "Is that really better?"


The Noxian said nothing, appraising the commander with a deadpan face, but finally a soft grin broke her stare, completely changing the mood and sending Garen's heart racing. "You're always making me think of things differently." She took a step toward him. "What did you call that? Three dimensional?"

The Demacian couldn't help but respond in kind, magnetically moving closer to her. "Yeah, my sister coined it. She knew right away that you had made me..." he advanced another step, "different." His jacket obscured much of her form but he could see her shiver almost imperceptibly.

"Different? Is that so?" she breathed; only a foot of space separated them.

"Absolutely," he whispered back and bent to press his lips against hers. He wasn't sure how things had shifted from argument to arousal and briefly considered that they were intertwined somehow, but he did know that kissing the Noxian in the private study of the Demacian prince was probably not the wisest of decisions. However, by the time the assassin seized the cloth around his neck and pulled him deeper into the kiss, Garen decided that he didn't care; the door was locked in any case.

Katarina leaned into his chest, forcing him back a few steps until he was caught against the front of Jarvan's desk. Heart thudding in his ears, he let out a heady moan as one of her hands drifted down his torso to brush against his growing erection.

Her eyes shone playfully when he broke the kiss to grab her hand and plead, "Don't...Jarvan might..."

It was a losing battle though, and Katarina pressed forward her attack, pulling another quiet groan from him as her tongue slid against his own and her hand resumed its teasing. He gave up, reaching inside the jacket to cup the round curve of her breast in one hand and her backside with the other.

Footsteps down the hall tore them apart and Garen looked helplessly from Katarina to the tent that had formed at his crotch. Biting back a grin, the Noxian motioned for him to sit down in the chair and he gratefully sank into the furniture, rubbing his red face. The assassin stood poised near the door, taking several deep breaths while smoothing stray strands of her red hair.

Less than ten seconds had passed but Katarina had already composed her face into an expression of boredom by the time Jarvan tried the handle of the locked door, which he followed with an irritable sounding, "Let me in."

She unlocked the door and Jarvan stormed in, slamming the door behind him.

"What's got you all bent out of shape?" she smirked.

"Just...stuff," he huffed vaguely, dismissing it with a wave. Noticing Garen slightly hunched over in the chair he asked, "You alright over there?"

"Of course, sir!" the commander replied as he snapped to attention.

Jarvan raised a suspicious eyebrow at his flushed face and opened his mouth like he was going to ask why, but Katarina quickly interjected, "Talon and I decoded the letter left by my father. I think you'll find it interesting."

His suspicions turned toward the Noxian as she reached in a familiar looking jacket pocket to hand him the paper with the decoded message. "Is that your jacket, Garen?"

His pulse quickened but he answered with a straight face, "Er, yes. Yes, she needed a hood. To walk through the castle. She didn't have one when she entered the city." Nothing strange about that, right? Jarvan didn't necessarily need to know that she had spent the night in his bed prior to receiving the jacket.

The prince nodded slowly and finally turned his attention to the paper Katarina had thrust in his hands. Garen locked eyes with the assassin and grinned as she bit her lip in an attempt to contain her laughter.

"A secret room in the prison?" Jarvan puzzled aloud. "I don't think I've ever heard of anything like that. Are you sure you decoded it right?"

Katarina sighed. "Yeah, Talon checked it a hundred different ways and this is what made sense. Is there any way I can search it myself?"

The prince considered her request, rubbing his chin. "There are some people in it," he said slowly, "but I could probably work out a rotation so we can go through each cell block uninterrupted." With narrowed eyes, he added, "I'll help search."

The Noxian rolled her eyes. "Two egotistical Demacians at once. I'm so lucky."

"Oh, shut up. I don't want to hear it right now," Jarvan scowled.

Garen's interest was piqued; Jarvan was usually good-natured, rarely showing his irritation. Whatever was discussed with his father had really gotten under his skin.

"Should we start tomorrow, sir?" Garen asked quietly.

The Demacian prince rubbed his temples then rested his forehead against his desk. "Tomorrow would be good," came his muffled reply. "I'll get the prison cleared out. Garen, can I talk to you alone for a second? Katarina you can wait outside, it won't take long."

With a haughty smirk on her face, the assassin turned sharply, flipping the hood back over her face before stepping outside. "Yes, sir."

Garen turned toward his friend, who lifted his head wearily and propped it up on his hand. Before he could open his mouth, Jarvan asked, "Is there anything else I need to know about?"

His response came automatically. "No every-"

"I'm not blind, Garen," the prince interrupted hotly. "I shouldn't have to remind you, of all people, that there are some mistakes that even I can't cover up." Seeing the commander's ashen face, he added In a softer tone, "Don't do anything stupid. You're my only friend."

Garen stood blankly for what seemed like hours before he finally nodded and mumbled, "Yes sir." Jarvan was shaking his head looking disappointed as the commander turned to leave the study.

"What was that all about?" Katarina asked curiously, but he took off at a brisk walk down the hall without looking at her.

His replay was a curt, "Nothing," and he could see the assassin's mouth harden into a thin line. She did not press the issue.

They walked in a tense silence until finally on the street, when Garen inquired in a business-like tone, "Where will you be staying?"

Katarina shrugged. "Same place as last time."

"Will you require an escort?"

He could feel the withering sneer she shot him even with most of her face concealed.

"**** you." She did not bother saying anything else but simply walked away, leaving the Demacian with what felt like a knife in his chest.

He knew it was terrible, the tone he had used and the way he had acted, but it couldn't be helped; Jarvan's words sat heavy in his gut and he recognize the underlying truth in his words. Playing with fire was going to get him burned and, in his case, the stakes were high. He could literally lose everything he had worked so hard for throughout his life: military position, respect, even his League champion and representative status.

Ignoring the pang in his chest, Garen went back into the castle, wishing for the first time in a very long time that he did not have to see her again.

***

The next day, Garen, Jarvan, and Katarina met outside the barracks and it was quickly evident that none of them were anywhere close to being in a good mood. In a black cloud they quietly shuffled over to the prison.

The outer wall was located roughly one-hundred yards away from the barracks and was rectangular in shape; the main portion of the prison itself, however, resembled an 'X'. An octagonal tower rose from the center and four long corridors, each its own single-story cell block, radiated from it.

Everything was quiet and Jarvan indicated that all prisoners had been moved to one cell block so that they could search through each block and rotate the prisoners to a new block if or when they finished with the others.

"No body here has ever seen anything remotely out of the ordinary though..." Jarvan added.

"So how should we tackle this?" Garen asked crossly.

"Why don't we go through each block together so we don't miss anything?" Katarina proposed in an equally agitated tone. "Since we don't even know what to look for in the first place."

Jarvan crossed his arms and retorted, "If you don't want to help us then you can just leave."

"Oh **** you!" she hissed. "I'm only doing this for myself anyway!"

"Maybe we should each take a separate block," Garen interrupted. "We can cover a lot of ground and avoid killing each other at the same time."

The other two grumbled their assent, refusing to look at each other. There were a total of twenty cells per block, and they agreed that in order to ensure a thorough search for anything out of the ordinary, they would search ten cells a day for eight hours, and when they finished, they would search the last block together before moving on to the tower itself.

Garen's irritation only held out for the first few hours and was replaced with an incredible mental fatigue. It was fitting that he was in a prison cell because he felt that there could be nothing more torturous than looking at nearly identical walls for eight hours in almost complete silence.

One of the worst parts of the first two days was that the first two days yielded nothing from any of the three. But the worst part, Garen decided, was having all that time to think about Katarina. He tried reminding himself repeatedly that distancing himself through any means was necessary for both of them. It was obvious he lacked the control to keep from being physical with her and there was no way either of their city-states would be understanding if their...whatever it was, came to light.

That brought up another issue for the Demacian: what exactly had they been? It didn't qualify as a relationship, he decided, since that implied things like romance and dates and ...hand holding, or something. So far, their interactions had consisted of trying to kill each other, arguments, sarcasm, and serious sexual tension. What did that even come out to equal?

By day two he had come up with a list of reasons why it could have been considered a relationship. Sometimes, they talked about personal things, like family and their opinions on things like weapons or food. He certainly felt relaxed around her and enjoyed her company, even when she was angry. That had to count for something right?

When the third day arrived, her continuing coolness toward him as they mapped out the sections of the last cell block that they would search, reminded him with painful clarity that it didn't matter what label he wanted to put on them because it could never happen.

The last cell block proved fruitless as well and, despite initially feeling comforted by the simple presence of other humans, Garen, Jarvan, and Katarina were all discouraged when they reconvened.

"There could still be something in the tower," Garen suggested desperately although his expression mirrored the despondence on his friends' faces.

The prince, rubbed his eyes forcefully. "I feel like I'm going to go insane."

Katarina nodded, rolling her shoulders. "I know we've only been here for a few hours today but I wouldn't mind leaving already."

"Then tomorrow?" Garen asked. "We can finish tomorrow for sure, whether we find anything or not."

Jarvan gave a non-committal grunt and Katarina waved a hand vaguely in response before trudging past him. With a sigh, he followed them, praying to whoever was listening that the next day would give them something.

***

There were only three rooms and a techmaturgical elevator on each of the tower's four floors, so Garen was boosted by the prospect of finishing the search quickly.

After Jarvan convinced the guards to vacate, the three each picked a room on the ground floor and got to work searching and prodding every inch of their respective rooms.

It was quiet save for the sounds of moving furniture for nearly an hour before, finally, Jarvan let out a confused, "Huh?"

Katarina and Garen dashed out of their rooms, hurdling furniture to see what Jarvan had found.

What he had found, it turned out, was a small keyhole that had been hidden underneath a bookshelf for so long, the wooden floor it was in looked brand new in comparison.

"It doesn't even look like there's anything here," Garen mused, feeling around the ground for any cracks. He rapped near the hole and there was a collective intake of breath at the hollow sound.

Eagerly, Katarina shrugged of Garen's jacket, pulled out a lock pick and wrench from her boot, and poked around, whispering excitedly, "It seems like just a regular lock!"

The two men stepped back to allow the Noxian to work and exchanged energized grins before turning their gazes back on Katarina.

As he admired the smooth skin of her back and the cascade of her red hair pooling on the floor, the commander wondered with sudden suspicion what was going through Jarvan's head. He shot a sneaky glance toward the prince and was in utter disbelief at his friend's unabashed look of appreciation.

Garen stared at Jarvan until he finally looked up, and the commander narrowed his eyes as if to say, "Really?" The prince cleared his throat and looked at the ceiling in response. The Vanguard commander crossed his arms and kept his eyes moving from the assassin to Jarvan, daring him to try and stare again.

A loud click drew their attention back to the floor and Katarina exhaled heavily, sticking a small knife into the hole for the leverage to lift up enough to reveal an expertly hidden trapdoor.

Together they propped it open and looked inside to see a wooden ladder leading down into the darkness. The hole itself looked big enough to accommodate someone Garen's size, although barely.

"I'll go get a light!" Jarvan exclaimed, running out of the room.

Garen looked to Katarina and couldn't help but grin and whisper, "Are you excited? You're getting closer to your father!"

His heart soared when Katarina smiled back, saying, "Yes! And...thanks for your help in getting here."

"Hey, I helped a bunch too," Jarvan interjected as he kneeled beside them, three flashlights in hand.

"Surprisingly," she teased before adding seriously, "So, who wants to go down the creepy ladder first?" Both she and Jarvan looked at Garen.

"What...oh, fine," he grumbled, snatching a flashlight from the prince's hand. He slid into to hole in the floor, holding himself up by his arms and letting his feet dangle near the fourth rung of the ladder. After testing to see if it would hold his weight, he gently positioned himself on it entirely and began descending.

It was only about ten feet to the floor and he turned on the light to reveal a large room which was covered in a heavy layer of dust. A long table sat directly in the center and surrounded by chairs, and maps of Runeterra were plastered over the walls. There were several bookshelves about the room covered both in books and files, and on the opposite end was a small door.

"Come on down, everything looks fine," he called up to the two waiting above, who quickly joined him in the secret room.

Cautiously they each walked around the room, kicking up small clouds of dust where they stepped. After a moment, Jarvan began opening files at a bookshelf while Katarina began going through a thick folder that had been sitting on the table with a significantly smaller amount of dirt on its surface.

Garen was, instead, drawn to the maps on the wall. While there were maps of all Runeterra, the large map detailing the Valoran continent and its closest islands was the most intriguing; strings were pinned across the surface, leaving no major area of the land untouched. It was after a few minutes of tracing the points that Garen began to notice an interesting trend...

"Oh, my god," Katarina cried in a hushed tone.

Garen and Jarvan rushed to her side and she pointed at specific documents to skim. There were several Journal of Justice articles, the office League publication, with General DuCouteau's handwritten notes in the margins detailing hidden messages within the posts; naval logs with a list of fake names and the cargoes they had shipped, including arcano-seismic charges and Nyzer poisons; and a record tracing the origins of the aliases to a single location.

Finally, Jarvan whispered grimly, "The Institute of War..."

The three champions stood in a shocked silence, reading and re-reading the papers spread out before them, each trying and failing to deny the evidence that was stacking up against the most powerful organization in Valoran.

As they rummaged through the rest of the file, it became evident that Marcus DuCouteau had done an incredible amount of research; there was nothing to suggest that any of the allegations against the Institute and were false. Institute High Councilor Heywan Relivash and the Journal of Justice's senior editor Ralston Farnsley were two of the most powerful men in Valoran, albeit in different ways, and here were their names, linked to what would be the greatest scandal the continent had ever seen.

As they neared the end of the stack of documents, an envelope closed with the House DuCouteau seal surfaced, which Katarina quickly pried open. The three huddled together, Garen and Jarvan directing their lights onto the letter which Katarina held in her two trembling hands.

6 September, 21 CLE

If you are reading this letter, then you know the evidence that I have compiled against the Institute of War, and I beseech you to bring this information to light as soon as possible. Heywan Relivash, one of the three High Councilors of the Institute, seeks to gain absolute power in Valoran, the first step of which he made a reality by inciting a war between Noxus and Demacia. After the League's display in Kalamanda and subsequent takeover of the city, it was evident to the whole of Valoran the power they held and the lengths to which they are willing go. Relivash sought the power of the Nexuses in Kalamanda for his own.

As disturbing as that information is, there is more.

Relivash, as is evident, developed a string of contacts, one of whom was Farnsley, who could pass hidden messages in the open through the news publications. But Relivash also had the backing of the Black Rose, a group you have no doubt encountered as the rubric for decoding the letter I left with my daughter was taken from me by their leader, a woman named LeBlanc. She is a League champion who excels in the art of deception, able to take the form of anyone she chooses.

LeBlanc is possibly more of a threat than even Relivash and the Institute. After confronting her, I learned that she is personally responsible for the death of General Boram Darkwill, the rise of Jericho Swain to power, and for carrying out many of the events in Kalamanda. I tried to stop her myself but her magic is powerful beyond comprehension and I was forced into hiding. I do not know what she plans for Noxus, but the plays for power in the vacuum of Darkwill's death are growing and I fear there will be civil unrest. Relivash, Farnsley, and LeBlanc must be stopped, no matter what the cost.

-Marcus DuCouteau, General of Noxus

Post Script: If the reader of this letter is not one of my children, I humbly request that you inform them that, as of this date, I am alive.

A heartrending sob tore out of Katarina's throat as she threw aside the letter and leaned against the table. Jarvan gripped her shoulder briefly, giving Garen a slight nod before turning to reorganize the documents strewn about the table. Hesitantly, the commander placed a hand on her back.

She looked over at him, tears muddying her chin as they worked through the dirt on her cheeks, and gave him the biggest, most sincere smile he had ever seen on the assassin's face.

"He might still be alive...!"

Garen offered her a small smile of his own, taking his hand from her as she straightened, rubbing her face. Katarina chuckled quietly to herself, gradually breaking into a loud laugh and a maniacal grin.

"Swain...LeBlanc...everyone is going to PAY!"

Garen and Jarvan exchanged a glance and the latter shrugged, refocusing on the documents. The commander turned away from the Noxian, who had picked up her father's letter to read its contents again, and suddenly remembered the door he had seen when he first entered the room.

Trying the handle, he found that it was unlocked, and opened into a dark but well crafted tunnel, and he wondered silently where it exited. Perhaps another day. At least that explained how the Noxian general was able to hide the documents underneath the Demacian prison, although he was curious as to how DuCouteau knew of the room's existence and why it was never exploited for Noxus's gain.

He looked once more to Katarina and considered that, maybe, he was right about the DuCouteau's, and Demacia was dead wrong; he was willing to take the chance.


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Theamp4

Senior Member

10-11-2012

Moaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr



MOOOOOAAAAAAARRRRRRRR

I need moar :c


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CakeandBacon

Senior Member

10-11-2012

This is pretty good. But you know what my favorite part of it is so far?

It gets updated. Seriously man, you are a machine. Keep it up.


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kittytoast

Senior Member

10-16-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theamp4 View Post
Moaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr



MOOOOOAAAAAAARRRRRRRR

I need moar :c
Moar you shall have
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeandBacon View Post
This is pretty good. But you know what my favorite part of it is so far?

It gets updated. Seriously man, you are a machine. Keep it up.
machine?...>.> he's on to us! *runs*

But yes, I try and keep it up. Waiting sucks T-T So thanks
***
***

Hello all! So, in case y'all didn't notice, I tend to get carried away and my chapters get suuuuper long. As it were, this chapter is the longest yet >.> Does this bother anyone? For the forum I will have to split it up in parts in order to post it anyway, but if you read it on FF.net and it's too long I'd like to know! As always, thank you to all readers and reviewers!

Mistakes
Part One

"What are you going to do about this, Jarvan?" Garen asked. The three had reconvened in the castle after putting everything back in its place and informing the prison wardens that they could return everything to order. The prince was sitting at his desk with the documents spread out across the top, Garen across from him, and Katarina in the connecting bathroom, washing her face.

Jarvan folded his hands together in front of his face, saying, "We have to come out with this information. If the Relivash is corrupt then something needs to be done. The League is supposed to work in the best interests of Valoran."

"And what about this LeBlanc," Katarina added as she stepped back into the room, her face free of dirt. "Have either of you ever seen her? Or fought her on the Fields of Justice?"

Garen shrugged but Jarvan actually answered, "I think," he began slowly, "that maybe the woman I saw when I was fighting Swain...maybe that was her."

"Oh, come on Jarvan," the commander responded incredulously. "Isn't that a bit of a stretch?"

"It was just a suggestion," the prince mumbled.

Katarina tapped her chin thoughtfully. "We can probably just go to the League itself and find out. I'm sure they have some kind of roster or archive or something. We've probably seen her before and just didn't know it."

"But your father's letter said she could look like anyone she wants," Garen reminded. "How will we ever know it's really her?"

They went quiet as they contemplated the truth in his statement and found no answer.

Jarvan threw up his hands in defeat. "I don't know! Let's just worry about it when we get there. For now we just need to bring Relivash to justice; afterwards, we can go scout out the League to find LeBlanc."

Garen and Katarina exchanged a worried glance but nodded in agreement. He was right; they were better off focusing on what they could do at the moment.

"I'll tell my father, and he can call all the representatives of the League here and make it official," the prince explained. "Katarina, would you be willing to be there? I know it's asking a lot, but it would mean more if we show it was a joint effort."

The assassin's face scrunched up in worry. It would likely not be well received by Noxus for a high-profile citizen such as she to come out as an ally of Demacia, and it had never been her intent to do so, and it could make it even more difficult to search for her father. "I'll think about it," she said curtly.

Jarvan looked understanding, saying, "Be here tomorrow at one PM if you decide to do it."

With a nod, Katarina stood, pulling the borrowed jacket over her form and beckoned Garen with a jerk of the head. "Get me outta here, I got celebratory drinks to knock back. "

The commander signaled for her to wait and turned to Jarvan, asking, "Mind if I talk to you after I walk her out?"

His friend gave him a confused look, but assented and wished Katarina a safe night before turning back to his desk. Garen nodded at the assassin and they began their walk out of the castle.

"Still acting Mr. Business?" she inquired.

The Demacian wasn't sure how to respond. He could keep up the act and push her further away, preserving his status and ensuring that nothing else would happen. It was the logical answer, and still, inside, his heart was begging him to defy rationality. He took a deep breath; his whole life had been built around maintaining the fašade of perfection, but it had never made his life seem as satisfying as all the mistakes he had made with Katarina.

"I'm afraid to be around you," he confessed softly. "Wanting you is an error I can't afford to make. Even knowing that I could lose everything with the slightest misstep, I can't stop myself. The only way is to make sure you're out of the picture entirely." He looked over at her obscured face but could see her bite her lip.

"You don't think it's the same for me?" she snapped. "There are those in the Noxian High Command who would kill a person over slightest show of weakness." Her fist clenched at her side, pace quickened slightly.

He grabbed her arm, forcing her to stop and look up at him, defiance and anger only partially masking the blatant distress held in her eyes. "Then why do you provoke the situation?" he hissed under his breath.

Katarina scoffed and looked aside, but deflated a little as she exhaled. "I'm not the only one provoking. But it's like you said. It's hard to stop." She tugged her arm from his grasp and continued walking.

It wasn't until they were out on the street that Garen asked, "What are we supposed to do?" He could not keep the desperate edge from creeping into his voice, or the slightly pleading expression off his face.

The assassin turned her back to him, and she suddenly looked so small to him, so breakable. So quietly he almost couldn't hear her, she whispered, "Is it a mistake if no one ever finds out?"

Garen's heart leapt to his throat.

"...I have to go," he croaked. He did not look back as he dashed back into the castle halls, his heart racing as he quickly traced his steps back to Jarvan's study.

What exactly was she suggesting? He had thought Katarina infallible, even entertained the idea that maybe she had been toying with him; this wasn't supposed to happen! If she had been harsh, denied anything between them he might have believed himself capable of continuing his distancing. But now...

Garen stood composing himself outside the prince's study, willing his body to return to a state of calm. Several minutes passed before he was successful in pushing his racing thoughts to back of his mind and return his face to its normal shade. Finally he pushed open the study door, greeting his friend and sinking into the chair across from him.

"So, what did you want to talk about?" The prince asked as he put aside the papers in front of him.

"I wanted to ask if you're interested in Katarina," Garen asked bluntly.

The prince looked at him like he was insane and asked, "Are you asking me this seriously?"

Instantly, Garen felt rather foolish, but he pressed on in his reasoning. "It's just...you were looking at her with interest the other day..."

Laughing awkwardly, Jarvan turned his embarrassed gaze to the side, muttering, "I was just looking, I swear! Besides, there's someone else I'm actually interested in."

Relief washed away the jealousy the commander hadn't even realized he was carrying and was replaced with intrigue. "Who? Why isn't it public?"

The prince scowled and actually fidgeted in his seat, leg bouncing in agitation. "Because it's not...acceptable." He shot a pointed stare at his friend. "Something I imagine you're well versed in."

Garen fought the urge to glare. "I guess this is why you were upset the other day?" he proposed, to which Jarvan nodded sullenly. "Is she not a Demacian?"

"Unlike someone I know, I'm not stupid," Jarvan taunted jokingly, this time earning a frown from the commander. "She's officially a Demacian now, an Elite Guard member even."

Garen quickly ran through a mental roster of the Elite Guard; there were very few women, which narrowed it down substantially, and after a minute of thought, he could think of only that would be met with criticism from the King.

He couldn't help but chuckle. "The Half-Dragon? What's her name...Shyvana?" The woman in question was a fierce fighter, no doubt, but far too emotionally driven for the commander to consider her a true Demacian soldier.

Jarvan narrowed his eyes. "So what if it is?"

Holding up his hands to show he meant no offense, Garen hastily replied, "I don't have a problem with her!" The prince settled back in his chair as did Garen, considering the object of the prince's affection. His interactions with Shyvana were limited primarily to the battlefield, and the way she seemed to rip through men like they were paper was impressive and intimidating to him; her dragon form, though, left him feeling unsettled. Although now an even more disturbing thought surfaced in his mind...

"Wait, doesn't she turn into a dragon when she gets passionate?" he questioned cautiously. He didn't want to judge but...

Immediately, Jarvan's composure fell, his face turning a brilliant shade of red. "PASSIONATELY ANGRY!" he sputtered. "Only when she's angry!"

Garen burst out laughing while his friend fumed at what was being implied. "I can't believe you would think that..." Jarvan muttered, but finally a grin appeared on his face against his will. "You're an *******."

The commander chuckled again, but as their laughter tapered off, he quietly asked, "Is it specifically because she's not fully human?"

Jarvan sobered quickly and nodded, looking down at his hands which sat folded in front of him. "I find no fault in her being what she is, but apparently it's of the utmost importance to Father. Said it would ruin appearances, and that she lacks diplomatic training which would reflect poorly on Demacia."

An expression of mild distress twisted the Demacian prince's face as he looked to Garen. "I know what I said to you is true, how some mistakes can't be covered. And I know everything could be lost, but it doesn't make it any easier to resist."

Katarina's convincing hands flashed across Garen's mind, the way she'd pinned him effortlessly against his leader's desk even though he knew better. "But, you're the prince," Garen murmured, banishing the image from his mind. "Surely there's something you can do."

"There's nothing," Jarvan insisted darkly. "I just try to keep my distance and make sure she's happy."

Garen contemplated his friend's dilemma. In some ways, he had it easier than him; Shyvana was a Demacian and for the most part respected (or feared). But Jarvan was also under the scrutiny of the public at an even higher level than himself, which made things very difficult. He thought of what Katarina had told him many times in the past, and came to a simple yet very complicated conclusion.

"Life is too short to be serious and miserable all the time, "Garen claimed. "If it's worth it to you, maybe you should consider doing it anyway. If no one finds out then..." He trailed off, feeling self-conscious after seeing Jarvan's surprised expression.

After a moment the prince's surprise was replaced by thoughtfulness. "I understand your point, but can it really be that easy?" He sighed heavily, closing his eyes. "It's a terrible feeling, having to choose between what you want and what you're supposed to want."

The commander let out a short laugh and grumbled, "Tell me about it," under his breath. This coming from the man who had all but forced that choice on him.

"I'd be careful if I were you, Garen," the prince warned. "I'm telling you, if my father finds out that you have something going on with Katarina, I don't know what I can do about it."

The commander waved away the concern. "Nothing has happened so there's nothing for him to find out."

Jarvan leaned forward, an interested look on his face, and said, "Come on. You can be honest with me; have you slept with her?"

It was Garen's turn to lose his composure, his face slowly burning under his friend's intent stare. "I-! N-no! I swear, we're not physical!" Well, it wasn't a complete lie.

The prince eyed him doubtfully, but sat back, seeming to accept his friend's flustered reaction as truth. "Well, that's good. You should keep it that way, otherwise I think it could be called fraternization."

Garen did his best not to think think about his hands on Katarina's breasts, just in case Jarvan could read minds like his sister.

"I'd better get going!" Garen declared as he rose from his chair. Jarvan seemed to be in better spirits after talking about Shyvana and he wasn't interested in Katarina, so the commander felt that their chat had been productive. Knowing the prince was in a similar boat as him only boosted his confidence that he could get away with seeing the Noxian, a fact he was more excited than guilty about.

"Alright, alright," Jarvan said, offering a wave and a small smile to Garen. "Thanks for not calling me crazy."

Garen gave a short wave of his own as he left, laughing, "Who am I to call anyone crazy?"

***

With the rest of his evening free, Garen took a few hours and spent them training, a welcome relief from the stresses of the day. It was dark as he headed home and he was eager to finally have the opportunity to get an early start on paying his sleep debt.

The commander revelled in his mother's absence as he entered the blissfully quiet manor, detouring to the kitchen to eat a sandwich before going upstairs to shower. As he rinsed, Garen hoped that wherever Katarina was, she wasn't drinking too heavily. It wasn't that he didn't think she couldn't handle herself; quite the opposite, he feared she would be even more impulsively violent than when sober.

Well, it wasn't his problem tonight; tonight, he was determined to relax. When was the last time he had been able to sit down with a beer and read a book, without his mother wanting to talk (or nag) about one thing or another? He needed this time, uninterrupted.

Dressed only in a clean pair of shorts, the Demacian perused the bookshelves in the downstairs study, sprawling across a couch with one of the few fictional works in the house, a mystery novel he had once seen Lux reading. It was an interesting enough book, but soon the combination of reading and beer had the commander sleeping.

He wasn't sure how long he was asleep before he was awakened by a heavy knock on the front door. A glance at the clock showed it to be just past one in the morning, so with a good amount of irritation he trudged to the door and looked through the window at the side. With a heavy sigh, he swung open the door, huffing, "What the hell are you doing here?"

Katarina staggered past him, laughing, "Bars er closed now! Everyone was great!" The smell of alcohol that accompanied her laugh was so strong that Garen almost recoiled.

The commander seized her shoulders and steered her back toward the open door. "You can't be here, Katarina. I'm amazed you even got here as drunk as you are, but you have to leave."

Sluggishly, the assassin tossed a knife at him, which flew over his shoulder and clattered on the floor, but distracted him for the split second it took her to flash-step to the stairs, where she stumbled on the bottom step, giggling. "It's cleaner here!"

Garen cursed and slammed the door. So much for paying that sleep debt, not that he could have resisted her if she had moved to stay again. He did soften as he watched her pull off his jacket and tug off her spiked boots, her face running a gambit of expressions from frustrated to happy. It was so rare to see her emote at all, in a way it was rather charming.

Garen followed the sock-clad woman as she slid across the foyer into the kitchen, only to arrive in time to see her pull a bottle Craggy Ice from the ice box and pop the top off on the counter.

"I don't think you need to be drinking anymore," he grunted, lunging for the bottle in her hand.

Katarina replied by taking an enormous swig, dashing just out of reach of his flailing hands and running back into the foyer, screaming, "But we're celebratin'!"

It was at that point that Garen mentally gave up. If she wanted to drink and run around like an idiot until she puked, he wasn't going to stop her; he was just going to crowd control and make sure nothing was broken in her wake.

The sound of her footsteps led the Demacian to the study where she was walking around perusing the shelves intently. Grinning, she pointed to a dusty family picture from when Garen was a teen and Lux was a child. "Were you always serious?!"

He leaned against the door, arms crossed, and simply retorted, "Yes."

His short answer sent the woman into a small fit of laughter. "Hey!" she exclaimed, suddenly switching gears. "Can I use your bath?"

"I gue- ****!"

No sooner had the words left her mouth, a confused expression gripped her face and, before he could finish his statement, she doubled over as a stream of almost pure alcohol shot out of her mouth.

"Uuuurrrh, sorry," she mumbled, covering her mouth. "I'm fine!"

All Garen could think was, thank the gods the floor was wood. "Just...go upstairs. Please?" Happily enough, she nodded and dashed out of the study, finishing her drink, with Garen trailing close behind. After grabbing a towel from the kitchen, the commander knelt on the floor and began cleaning, trying to remain optimistic; if he had to guess by looks and smell alone, it was ninety percent alcohol, which made the job slightly less terrible.

Opting to toss the towel in the trash rather than add to the laundry, with mild trepidation he made his way up the stairs. The water was running and he could hear her humming quietly, so he knocked lightly on the door, saying, "Are you ok?"

"Yep!" she replied cheerfully. "Everything is fine!"

He sighed in relief. "Well, ok, the bathroom is connected to Lux's room too so you can just go stay in there when you're finished."

Katarina didn't reply for a moment, and he heard a short scramble followed by the sounds of her wretching. "OK..." came her shaky reply, notably less energetic. Maybe it was insensitive, but he couldn't help but laugh. He knew exactly the point of night she was at, when that floaty drunk feeling started to decline, and he did not envy her in the slightest.

But nothing had been broken, so Garen felt that his work was done for the night. "Hey, I'm going to bed. Hope you feel better tomorrow. And, we hope you show up at the conference."

The assassin grumbled something incoherent from the other side of the door, so Garen moved away and turned off the light in his room, falling wearily into his bed. Her appearance had been unexpected but, even after all that, it was only one thirty, so he hadn't missed out on much sleep at all. He had just started to drift away when a slight pressure on the bed made him turn over to Katarina's form shifting under the covers to lie next to him.

Her voice floated up sad and quiet, muffled by the pillow she was face down, in before he could react. "Just let me pretend for one night that things are different."

"What do you mean?" he whispered back.

Her shoulders drew up around her and she turned to face him. "I'll go tomorrow. So tonight, I just want to pretend that there's no Noxus and no Demacia."

"You're drunk and you don't make sense," he muttered, to which she laughed softly. But he did not make her move, and she did not object when he inched his hand under her pillow to brush against hers.

When he woke just after the sun, she was already gone.

***
***


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kittytoast

Senior Member

10-16-2012

Mistakes
Part Two

"Have you seen Prince Jarvan?" Garen asked an attendant he had seized in the corridor. One o'clock was fast approaching and he had yet to see the prince in the main hall.

"His majesty in his study," the disgruntled man replied. "He asked that no one disturb him before the conference."

The commander sighed and released the attendant, who rushed away into the conference room. He wasn't sure why he was surprised at Jarvan waiting until the last second to appear; he did like being fussed over. If that was the case, Garen thought as he stomped to his friend's study, he would give him a fuss.

The commander did not knock, simply flinging the heavy door open, shouting, "I'm not going to let you be late to your own meeting!"

He wasn't sure who was the most surprised at his abrupt entrance, himself, Jarvan, or Shyvana, whom the prince had pinned rather suggestively against the wall of the study.

Without a second thought Garen backed out and slammed the door behind him, calling out steadily, "Don't make everyone wait!" and quickly pacing back to the main hall. Well that was unexpected. He only waited a minute in the hall before Jarvan walked in calmly, followed by an angry looking Shyvana, who both approached the grinning commander.

"Has Katarina shown up?" Jarvan inquired in a low voice. Shyvana merely glared.

Garen shook his head in the negative, adding, "She said she would come though."

"I hope so," the prince murmured before walking before the crowd of officials assembled in the hall.

"If you say anything, I will personally end you," the Half-Dragon threatened under her breath, her furious gaze never wavering from his.

Garen smiled in what he hoped was a reassuring manner, stating quietly, "I'm glad for you," before moving to stand behind his friend. He saw Shyvana nod slowly and join the Elite Guard and Dauntless Vanguard on the fringe of the room.

Still no sign of Katarina.

The clock chimed once and Jarvan stepped forward, stating in a booming voice, "Representatives of the Institute of War and citizens of Demacia, I have come forward today with grave news..."

Suddenly, Garen caught a glimpse of red and black, and Jarvan was interrupted by a shrill scream from the assembly, as Katarina flash-stepped to his side, muttering to Garen, "Sorry I'm late."

Movement from behind alerted the commander to the movement of the Vanguard as they rushed toward the assassin with cries of "Demacia!" Without hesitation Garen pulled his sword from his side and blocked a strike from his first captain, who stepped back in surprise.

"STOP!"

Jarvan's voice carried throughout the hall and brought a stunned silence in its wake as he walked deliberately over to the assassin and shook her hand. The Vanguard and the Elite Guard still hovered around Jarvan, Garen, and Katarina, weapons drawn.

"Miss DuCouteau has been of great assistance in the collection of the information I am about to present to you. I requested her presence here to show that situation is grave enough to warrant cooperation between Demacia and Noxus. Stand down."

Katarina smirked thinly and waved her hand at the disgruntled Demacian soldiers, who had no choice but to follow orders and retreat to their positions in room. Jarvan IV shot a glance at his father, who nodded for him to continue.

As the prince explained the evidence against the Institute of War, Garen, without breaking eye contact with the crowd, whispered to Katarina, "How's the hangover?"

"Kill me now," she replied likewise. It was all he could do to keep from laughing.

They stood in silence for the remainder of Jarvan's address, until he opened the floor. With good reason, the representatives of the Institute were shocked and doubtful, but Katarina and Jarvan thoroughly answered each of their attacking questions.

It was well over an hour before the conference settled and the crowd dispersed, the Institute representatives rushing to leave Demacia and return to the League to begin an investigation into Heywan Relivash. The three champions sighed in relief and Jarvan quickly excused himself to his father's side, leaving Garen to deal with Katarina and the Vanguard.

"I don't want to protect some Noxian *****," one of his soldier's spat, earning cheers from the other members of the Vanguard.

Garen could see the muscles in Katarina's jaw clench and her fingers stray to her daggers as she hissed, "Like I need your protection!"

The commander quickly intervened, moving to stand between the assassin and his soldiers. "I don't care what you want!" he barked. "Prince Jarvan ordered Miss DuCouteau under our protection should she need it, and we follow orders!"

"Doesn't it bother you, sir?" another soldier questioned as he glared at Katarina.

The commander rounded on the soldier who spoke, one of the youngest soldiers in the Vanguard. "What bothers me, is that all of you want to go against orders! Now, if anyone else has complaints they can take it straight to Jarvan! Understood?" No one said anything, but the mistrust and hatred was still plainly on their faces.

"You're all dismissed!" the commander ordered, sending the grumbling Vanguard back to their scheduled duties.

Katarina whirled on Garen as soon as the soldiers were out of sight. "Babysitters? Are you kidding me? **** that!"

The Demacian sighed, "You don't have to stay here if you don't want. It's just if you want to walk around, someone from the Vanguard will have to be with you."

"That's worse off than before!" she exclaimed, tapping her foot in irritation. "As soon as I can leave, I'm out. Talon!" Garen was confused as to why she suddenly shouted the name of the assassin when he heard faint footsteps behind him.

"What do you want?" the cloaked man replied, idly flexing his wrist which had a long blade mounted on top of it.

"How long have you been here?" Garen frowned. Damn assassins. Talon ignored the Demacian, not even looking away from Katarina to acknowledge that he'd spoken.

"Relivash must know something about where Father is and I have a feeling he's not going to go down quietly. My guess is he'll try and run to Noxus and the Black Rose." Katarina's tone turned a little despairing when Talon's impassive face did not change. "Please...if they try and get into Noxus, will you stop them?"

There was tense moment where he said nothing, casually inspecting his weapon, but finally his brusque voice answered, "You know, Swain returned to the High Command. Got a lot of support." His mouth twitched into a frown. "After this little show, it's gonna be very hard to be a DuCouteau in Noxus."

Katarina cursed. "Will you be able to stay in the city? Can you see that Cass leaves?"

A wicked grin spread across his face and he flicked his wrist excitedly. "Everyone knows not to cross blades with me. I'll keep an eye out for Relivash and your sister," he stated and vanished from sight.

Garen crossed his arms and Katarina let out the breath she'd been holding. "I wonder when my luck with that one will run out," she brooded, moving to leave the hall.

"What do you mean? I thought you were like siblings?" Garen inquired. He knew nothing about Talon, but had assumed that he and Katarina worked well together.

"It's just...he's only loyal to my father. Father wanted us to consider him like family, but it's never really been like that. I think he's only helping me since it happens to coincide with his goals." Katarina glanced back over her shoulder to where the other assassin had been, as if making sure he hadn't reappeared. "So I wonder if his loyalty extends to me and Cass, and if it doesn't, what he'll do when he doesn't need me anymore."

"He won't do anything," Garen assured, although he had the same uneasy feeling about Talon any time his name was mentioned. Katarina nodded but was not comforted; they might be better fighters, but that didn't mean anything when the assassin could simply slit their throats while they slept.

"So...what now?" Katarina questioned as they walked out into the streets of Demacia.

Garen paused, running a hand through his hair. "I don't know," he admitted. "We need to do some research on LeBlanc, but I don't know if we should wait until after Relivash's investigation or not."

"Well, the sooner the better, right? Maybe she'll be weaker now with a big chunk of her network taken out," the Noxian suggested hopefully.

"Sounds reasonable," Garen mused. "Then, do you want to leave for the League tomorrow? We can look into the League Judgements and see if there's anything useful in the archives."

She nodded in agreement, then changed the subject, a sly smile on her face. "So, now that I can be out in public, you gonna show me around?"

***

Garen felt increasingly light-headed as the day progressed. The longer he thought about it, the faster his heart beat and the weaker his knees got, until by the time the sun was setting, he was sure he must be having a very slow heart attack.

He could justify to himself that spending the day with her was within the realm of his duty; she was under Vanguard protection, he hadn't come up with a guard rotation, and they couldn't just let a Noxian run around Demacia unescorted.

What he couldn't wrap his mind around was why she wanted to go out in the first place. They had literally walked through the majority of the capital city, earning many shocked looks, glares, and whispers, but she seemed to brush them off easily. Nothing had changed in her personality either, evident in the sarcasm and her teasing jabs she easily threw at and exchanged with him.

But then she had forced him to buy her lunch, declaring that she hadn't been able to eat earlier for puking, and his mind started racing. If he tilted his head and squinted, it almost seemed like... a date. He tried to shake the idea off as he paid for the food, but the thought was planted and would not die.

After eating they walked through the market, exchanging stories about their childhoods, and Garen wondered if she had intended it to be a date. Her words yesterday rang out in his mind: Is it a mistake if no one ever finds out? The Demacian swallowed nervously, allowing himself to pretend for a moment that her words then and her actions now were related. Maybe she knew the circumstances of the morning were the perfect cover for them to go out; on the other hand, maybe she was just bored. He was going to go crazy.

The sun had begun to set when she demanded that he take her to the pier, and it was the last mental straw for the poor commander.

"Why are we doing this?"

Katarina, placed her hands over her hips and stared out across the water, which had a beautiful orange glow from the sun. "Because I've never gone anywhere in this city. It's always to the castle and back to the inn, or your house. Besides, if I...can't go back to Noxus for a bit, I might as well make the best of it."

Garen cleared his throat and tried again. "But why the... dinner, and the pier..." he trailed off, feeling completely ridiculous, and added quickly, "Nevermind."

The colors of the sky made it difficult to tell, but he thought her face looked a little pink. "I'm sure you owe me for something," she offered weakly.

A smile worked its way onto Garen's worried face and he laughed, "Yeah, probably." The tension in his stomach dissipated somewhat and, for a minute, he was content in the comfortable silence that rested between them as they took in the sunset.

Garen flicked his eyes from the ocean to the woman beside him, and that simple act was his undoing. She looked absolutely radiant, and it wasn't even the proverbial fire the sun had sparked in her eyes, or the soft, pink glow of her skin that struck him; what had him floored, was the calm way in which he realized that he could happily spend every evening until he died, watching the sun set on her face. A wave of longing crashed over the commander so heavy he couldn't help but think, what if...

Katarina turned and met his intense gaze with a gentle smirk. "If you're gonna say something, then say it. Hesitation is for idiots."

Her prompting was just enough to push him, and he was sure his heart was going to explode out of his chest as he opened his mouth to voice what he felt were the most insane words he'd ever spoken.

"I have to go back to the castle to tell Jarvan that we are going to the League tomorrow," he began slowly. She waited expectantly, an eyebrow raised, and he continued in a voice so soft he could scarcely hear himself over the sound of his blood pounding in his head, "But after that... I mean, you said yesterday that...you didn't like the inn you were staying at..."

He licked his dry lips and looked across the water, face burning for a reason other than the dying sunlight on his face. It couldn't have been more obvious, what he was trying to say, but Katarina let him struggle to get the message out.

"Would you come home with me?"

Garen could see a small grin on her face from the corner of his eye as she turned back toward the water too, whispering "I could do that."

***

It was dark as the pair made their way from the castle to the Crownguard manor. As Garen talked to Jarvan, Katarina had 'borrowed' a cloak from the storeroom, which now covered her face, but they stuck to the alleyways, just in case. They walked so closely together it was nearly impossible to see the commander's fingers tightly entwined with hers.

Garen dropped the keys on the back porch of the house but his shaky hands were able to finally get them in the lock. The door had only been shut a second before he pushed Katrina against it in a desperate kiss, returned with equal fervor.

His rough hands gripped the back of her neck and became tangled in her long, red hair and he tilted her head just enough for him to kiss her ear, down her jawline, her throat, to the hollow point between her collar bones. The sounds that left her lips when he pushed aside the collar of her jacket and left marks along her neck nearly drove him to madness, but he knew he couldn't stop.

All the while, her breathing grew heavier, more erratic, until finally she couldn't stand it; her breath was hot against his ear and her commanding voice had a note of urgency as she made her last demand.

"Sleep with me."

Garen paused, and disengaged his hands from her hair, placing them trembling against the door on either side of her face.

"Why?"

She hadn't expected him to question; how could she possibly tell him that he was the only reason she hadn't fallen apart completely? Even in light of all the recent downturn her life had taken, it all seemed manageable with him by her side. She wasn't sure when things changed, but he had somehow worked his way into her life and ripped out all the emotions she'd been burying inside her, making her feel more alive than any battle. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes; he'd made her life brighter, she could give him the truth.

"Because I made my choice, and it's you."

The tension that had built in his chest as he waited for her answer melted away and Garen let out a soft sigh. He hadn't realized how much he needed to hear those words; a smile lit his face.

Katarina DuCouteau and Garen Crownguard, were done with being perfect. If this was a mistake, it was one they were willing to make over and over again.

"Sleep with me," she said again, her voice less insistent but still unwavering.

He did not question a second time.

***
***
***

LeBlanc knew that with the investigation into the League's corruption, it was only a matter of time before Marcus's daughter and her Demacian lackeys began looking into her history, and the Deceiver was never unprepared. She had spies all over Valoran, Demacia being no exception, and she had sent them out to observe the three champions and report anything that could be useful to her in taking them out of the picture.

So when she learned that the Vanguard commander had been seen with the Noxian entering his home late at night, an idea began forming in her head, and she allowed herself a wicked smile as she recognized a perfect opportunity to ensure Demacia was too weak to oppose her.

She would only need to sow the seeds of doubt and the Demacians would rip themselves apart.

Gods, how she loved it when a plan fell into place.


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Theamp4

Senior Member

10-16-2012

I like long chapters.

We need even LONGER chapters!!!

I'm dying from all of this. You are one of my favorite authors, and that's a feat in itself!


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WSB Xero

Member

10-17-2012

I like. I don't say that too often.


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AerithRayne

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

10-17-2012

Have I mentioned here lately that I enjoy reading this? No? Then consider yourself reminded.


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Zaranthyes

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Member

10-18-2012

Moar i say.

MOAR!


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kittytoast

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beasthunterxero View Post
I like. I don't say that too often.
WAAGH i was on my phone trying to give everyone thumbs up to show that I'm reading your comments but I clicked the thumbs down and now I can't click the thumbs up! D: I'm sorry!! I didn't mean to dislike your comment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theamp4 View Post
I like long chapters.

We need even LONGER chapters!!!

I'm dying from all of this. You are one of my favorite authors, and that's a feat in itself!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AerithRayne View Post
Have I mentioned here lately that I enjoy reading this? No? Then consider yourself reminded.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaranthyes View Post
Moar i say.

MOAR!

I'm so glad to be getting such good feedback! I didn't want to comment b/c I know it might get your hopes up but I had to correct my accidental thumbs down :x

But while I am here, thanks for your support! I'm glad the length isn't bothering anyone!

Also, the next chapter might take a bit to finish for two reasons: 1, I usually write on weekends and I'm going to the state fair this weekend; and 2, there's a lot of stuff that's going down in chapter 8 sooooo... be ready? lol. Thank y'all so much